How to get your mermaid makeup on with Chantecaille’s new summer collection
La dolce vita
It's not very often a makeup artist hailing from the land of kimchi is an effective dual-wielder of both Western and Korean beauty. Yet Chantecaille has found a gem in Heena Choi, one of their officially appointed international makeup artists that travel the globe repping the brand's aesthetic. Here in town to introduce the new summer collection, we got Choi to divulge the theory and the practical behind the sun-drenched colours, the gorgeous vacay-inspired packaging, and how to cop some of that 'just holidaying' glow.
Can you share with us the inspiration behind Chantecaille's new summer collection, and some of your favourite products from the range?
The collection is inspired by the summer of the Amalfi coast, which is in Southern Italy. The overall look and feel of the products also came from this coast, such as the reflection of the sun you can get from the sand on the beach and the ocean — that's why everything is very iridescent. My favourite product is actually the Sirena bronzer and Sole eyeshade.
Are there any tweaks to the formulations designed to make the products better performing in warm weather? For instance, are there particular ingredients or new technology introduced in this collection?
Actually, this is a very good question. For the Sirena bronzer, we actually used the very latest technology, which is very different from what you can find in the market right now. A lot of the usual bronzers only sit on your skin, and it will kind of run when you apply it — especially in humid climates where you sweat; it will get messy very quickly. But with our bronzer and the technologies that created it, Sirena actually melts into your skin so it's almost like a powder-to-moisturiser kind of feeling. It will blend in really well and seamlessly becomes part of your skin. It won't be fade so easily, nor will it run and it stays on much longer too.
It's highly raved-about too, and has been dubbed the most modern bronzer ever. Why is it so unique, and what's the best way to apply it to for an everyday, natural contour?
Sirena is a very multi-usage product because we have the bronzer and the highlighter together. You can use it by mixing them together or you can use it individually to highlight your skin. You can even do shading with it for subtle contours if you want create more depth to your facial structure or to add dimension to the skin. You can really use it on every different portion of the face; even as an eyeshadow. So this is what makes it very unique: It's extremely convenient. With just the Sirena bronzer, you can actually do your entire face.
Is there something from the collection that you've unexpectedly discovered could be used in multiple ways?
My favourites are the two Luminescent Eye Shades in Sole and Mare. Especially for Sole, I've figured out that it works great as multi-usage product. After you apply blusher, you can actually brush a little bit amount of Sole on top of the cheeks as a soft, shimmering coating and if you put a little bit more, it becomes a highlight. So in this way, you can create both daytime looks and nighttime looks within one product.
And Mare, which is a blue aqua, can also be used in different ways. Perhaps not as a highlighter though as it can be too much with its shade, but it's great as a lip topper to give your lipcolour a little glow. All you have to do is dab it on using your fingertip. It's very simple and it fits in with the kira kira bling makeup trend this summer.
What are your pro tips and tricks on achieving the mermaid eye look for beginners?
I'd recommend two products for this. First, start with the La Sirena bronzer which can be used in five different ways. Apply it as a normal bronzer and highlighter, then use the shimmer part as an eyeshadow. It can also double up as a shimmery base for your lip and cheeks. And just like that, you've got an overall sun-kissed look. To complete the mermaid eye, use the Luminescent Eye shades with your fingertips to add sparkle all along your eyelid. Since it has very fine particles and it's very sparkling, you only need a little to achieve a really simple and quick mermaid look. If it's too much for use directly on the lids, you can use it as an pop of iridescent on the outer edge of the eye, or even touch of it on the under eyeline. That's also perfect for creating a simple mermaid look.
So the key is to start small?
I think it is more of 'don't go too far'. For beginners, just highlighting those points is a good place to start. It's kind of like doing point makeup instead of going full-on immediately. Start small first, then as you get more confident, you can layer on the colour to create a more intense look.
Say we want to pair that mermaid eye look with great skin. What's your advice on faking a glowy summer complexion without looking oily or veering into cake-face territory in Singapore's constantly humid climate?
Make sure to start with good skincare first. I'll use the rose water for a little hydration, and then add the Anti-Pollution Essence and Blanc Gardenia Emulsion in order to prevent the skin from getting too oily. Moisture is very crucial because you need to have enough hydration in your skin before you layer on the makeup in order to maintain the look throughout the day.
Another thing what I've found out is that one of major skin issues of a lot of Singaporeans is that their skin is very dehydrated, at which point it starts to produce a lot of oil. That's why there's often a misdiagnosis where women think their skin is the oily type. And in order to get rid of that oil, they'll use skincare that's very lightweight. But this is actually wrong because what happens is that when your skin lacks hydration, it will actually produce more oil to protect it. That's why you're getting more oily, but at the same time you're still very, very dehydrated. Therefore getting the base [skincare] right is very important. To prevent your skin from over-producing oil, I would suggest using those products before applying makeup. To help reduce pigmentation and enviromental pollution, using the Anti-Pollution Mattifying Cream and Ultra Sun Protection are also key.
Good skincare is really essential!
Yes, it's always about skincare. A lot of people have the wrong mindset. They think, "okay, I want to create this kind of look, how can I use the makeup products to achieve it?", but it's always about the basic steps like how you actually prep your skin. It's not about just using a lot of stuff, and piling it on your skin. This will never achieve the look because you will still produce oil as your skin is dehydrated, and that will ultimately ruin everything. So it's not going to work if you don't actually take care of your skin.
Speaking of Singapore, the K-beauty craze is one trend that has taken over our island. Being Korean, how do you see K-beauty fitting in with the Chantecaille brand? Do you personally incorporate Chantecaille with Korean beauty trends?
The overall trend at the heart of K-beauty is about having a very seamless, glassy look. I'll definitely use our foundation — the Just Skin Tinted Moisturiser and Future Skin — to create a satiny, silky finish complexion. And for lips, the Lip Chic collection and our new Lip Sleek pens are very moisturising and have all these ingredients that creates hydrated, glassy looking lips. In fact, K-beauty is big on dewiness for both skincare and makeup.
Lastly, what are some of the upcoming beauty trends you're predicting will be big as we move towards fall/winter?
Definitely having healthy-looking, dewy skin would be the trend for sure. I also think lips will be a big focus, by working really bold and vibrant colours that fit the season to create a more luxurious, lush look. And it's not about the matte lip anymore as shine is coming back. Playing with texture is also another big thing, such as combining lipsticks with gloss to create different kinds of gradation on the lips.
Wearing winged eyeliner is set to be a very strong trend too, especially going into fall/winter. So textures and eyeliners will make a comeback. Even dual liners, where you add a pop of coloured liner over the usual black eyeliner to finish the look.
Chantecaille's new summer collection is available at the Chantecaille counter at Takashimaya Shopping Centre, $58-$131